No more paper bills for members of Congress?

The House Rules Committee on Saturday released an updated version of H.R. 292, which the House is expected consider on Tuesday. The bill, introduced by Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.), would eliminate the practice of printing and distributing copies of all introduced legislation to all members of Congress, a change that Lee says could save as much as $35 million in printing costs over 10 years.

Under the new bill, members' offices would have to obtain all legislation through the Internet, with no exceptions. However, the bill says nothing about preventing House and Senate committees from getting paper copies, so presumably this practice could continue.

The original version of the bill that Rules posted during the week would have generally ended all printing for both members' offices and committees, but also included a fairly broad exception to that rule -- printed bills could have been received when requested by either a member or a committee.

Assuming the House passes the bill on Tuesday, it will be sent to the Senate, where Democrats would have to decide whether to take the advice of House Republicans and move to a paperless office, at least when it comes to legislation.

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